Investing

3 High-Profile Hammered Growth Stocks Jefferies Says to Buy Now

Typically when the market has the kind of triple-digit movement like we have experienced so far in 2016, it’s not a good sign. Often, that is the telling sign that a bigger correction is on the way. However, the fact that we have had two 10% corrections in just over six months, after not having one in over three years, kind of softens those worries. One thing that kind of movement does is put outstanding growth stocks at price levels that are very opportune.

This week’s Jefferies research piece examining top growth stocks to buy now features three companies that are offering investors the best entry points in some time, due to some near-term issues. All are rated Buy at Jefferies and are more suited for aggressive growth accounts.

Activision Blizzard

This company reported very mixed fourth-quarter results, but remains a franchise pick at Jefferies. Activision Blizzard Inc. (NASDAQ: ATVI) develops and publishes online, personal computer (PC), video game console, handheld, mobile and tablet games worldwide. The company develops and publishes interactive entertainment software products through retail channels or digital downloads, as well as downloadable content to a range of gamers.

The company’s Call of Duty franchise, which has propelled earnings for this industry powerhouse for years, saw its latest launch just in time for the holidays. “Call of Duty: Black Ops 3” was as one of the top-selling games over the three-day Black Friday and the Christmas selling periods.


The big news last fall was the company’s purchase of Candy Crush saga creator King Digital Entertainment, and most of Wall Street think the buy is an outstanding move for the company; specifically the synergies between the two companies is cited. Many analysts feel that the key to unlocking some monster value is creating and cross-promoting the Activision product inside the King Digital mobile distribution network.

The company reported fourth-quarter revenues that came in below consensus expectations as softness in what the Jefferies team calls “casual” brands like Skylanders and Guitar Hero weighed on results. The analysts point out that the company has a half a billion monthly active users, putting it in the ranks behind digital giants like Facebook and YouTube. Trading at a very reasonable 13 times estimated 2016 earnings, the Jefferies analysts are buyers of the stock on the current weakness.

Activision investors are paid a 0.88% dividend. The Jefferies price target for the stock is $45. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target is set at $37.92. The stock closed Wednesday at $29.45 per share.